PORTLAND - Debbie Hoyt says she s got a perfect driving record, but can t get affordable insurance.

I feel like I'm being discriminated against, Hoyt said.

About half the insurance companies she s applied to either won t insure her at all or offer her their most expensive coverage.

It s my husband's driving record, Hoyt explained. He s had four driving under the influence charges and has lost his license forever.

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Hoyt gave his car back to the bank, canceled his insurance, and got himself a TriMet bus pass. But insurance companies say because he lives in the house and could potentially drive her vehicle the insurance rates are increased.

Hoyt said her husband hasn t had a drink for more than three years and will never drive again. She said she has no tickets or crashes. She doesn t drink alcohol at all.

In an e-mail from Nationwide that Hoyt showed KGW, an agent said, Unfortunately the state of Oregon does not allow us to exclude your husband from your policy.

But a consumer advocate for the Oregon Insurance Division said that was not so.

When asked whether Oregon law allows an insurance company to exclude a husband from a wife s policy, Ron Fredrickson said, There are specific statutes to allow an insurance company to exclude a driver under certain specified circumstances, but I m not sure this is one of them.

By voice mail a Nationwide spokesperson said, Our sales rep misspoke to Mrs. Hoyt. It s an inadvertent mistake. We re sorry that human error led to this confusion.

Fredrickson said when he receives Hoyt s formal complaint the insurance division will be looking into the matter to see if she can get good driver rates for her own driving record.

Fredrickson also questions why insurance companies continue to include Hoyt s husband s driving record, when state law only allows drivers' records to be held against them for three years.

Hoyt said her husband s last DUI was July 15, 2008.

Send tips to Consumer Reporter Ed Teachout by calling (503) 226-5041 or email

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